Letters to the Editor

Review pandered in election coverage | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

  - Bainbridge Island Review photo
— image credit: Bainbridge Island Review photo

To the editor:

To the winners: Congratulations. To the unsuccessful: Thank you.

Undoubtedly there will be much post-election what-ifs, whys and hand-wringing about the influence of campaign money.

My concern is not money in the city of Bainbridge Island races but the presence of non-money influence in the form of the Bainbridge Review’s editor, Mr. Kelly. As a long-time former subscriber to the Review, and a current “Green Edition” reader, I have been tracking the Review’s lead-up and election coverage. The Review being a small-town paper,

I am not looking for New York Times/Wall Street Journal standards but still look for journalistic standards. Yes, the Bainbridge Review is left-of-center and panders to an audience left of the paper.

I accept that and find weekly great amusement in many of the causes advanced by the Review.

However, I noticed a decidedly partisan position of the Review’s editor toward certain candidates (you know who) and against free speech of certain citizens forming political action committees. The bias was played out week after week in the print version, online and the 98110 paper.

Editor Kelly would — I assume — dazzle himself with running odd push polls, unfunny editorial cartoons, placement and frequency of letters by his chosen slate, and disappearing or absent letters on the other side.  We read Editor Kelly’s all-too-frequent rallying cry against citizens who were using their free speech through a PAC as though this was the devil incarnate. Any clear-minded reader of the paper had to notice this concerted journalistic crusade by the editor and no doubt shrugged it off as “That’s Our Island’s way.” Truth be told, the Review was a de facto PAC supporting his slate. Public Disclosure Commission violation?

I will take the liberty of channeling the storied Review editor/journalist Walt Woodward (1910-2001) to say that the august Review has greatly diminished its commitment to uphold journalistic standards by pandering to the least common element and becoming a shill for one partisan side. Having recently read a Review article about 15 journalistic awards bestowed on the Review, sadly there was little evidence of that quality in this election-cycle work by Editor Kelly.

Hope springs eternal.

JAMES M. OLSEN

Bainbridge Island

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